Hello everyone. It’s really exciting to address you in this forum for the first time as District 7 Director (after acting the part for eight months).
Following an initial period of adjustment, I have gotten used to the faster pace and intensified traffic of Los Angeles. Both signify that there is more to do and more places to go in this city, and I have happily dived into all of it.
I’m also coming to terms with the sheer scale of everything here, including the construction program. In my former District 10, they have the largest construction program they have ever had at $750 million. By comparison, just one project in District 7, the Gerald Desmond Bridge, is $1 billion.
But it’s exciting to be a part of all this activity and intensity. I love working in this new, beautiful building among professionals who know their job and do it well. My task for the immediate future is to make sure that everything stays on track. I want to keep the momentum, improve partnerships, and ensure that Caltrans gets the recognition it deserves.
Long term, my goals are to continue to improve the quality of California’s transportation systems, improve and enhance the environment and support smart growth and sustainable approaches to resolve our infrastructure needs.
The Program Review, Mile Marker and State Smart Transportation InitiativeProgram Review, reports illustrate a new direction for Caltrans. We must look to the future, reassess all of our activities, and seek opportunities to better serve motorists and collaborate with our partners in California. We must address declining transportation funding, new roles of our transportation partners, and ever-changing demands and expectations for efficiency and accountability.
To maintain our state and national leadership role in transportation, Caltrans must also foster an internal culture that seeks positive change and demonstrates the utmost professionalism and ethics throughout our ranks. We must be open to restructuring, dedicated to managing change, and receptive to initiatives that focus on results.
I’ll keep you informed as we move forward with our new mission and vision.
April is Distracted Driver and Work Zone Safety month. All Caltrans employees need to be safe and careful wherever you work, be it inside the office or out on the roads! We held the Workers’ Memorial this month as a reminder of how dangerous our work can be. Please be mindful of your surroundings, particularly the field staff who are working in such close proximity to traffic every day. I urge you all to share our safety message with family and friends – move over when you can and slow down in maintenance and construction work zones.
That’s it for now. I’ll check in with you in a few months, when there undoubtedly will be even more news and information to share. In the meantime, I plan to become more of an Angeleno as I continue settling in to my new home, District 7.